The Opioid Crisis in America
According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), an agency within the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the misuse of prescription medications, namely opioids, has been on the rise since the 1990s. Coincidently, this around the same time when many of the leading pharmaceutical companies assured doctors and the public at large that patients could not become addicted to this class of pain relievers. Decades later, the country is beset with an opioid crisis that is quickly reaching epidemic proportions.
In 2017, the HHS (Health and Human Services) declared the misuse of opioids a public health emergency, and since then, have announced plans aimed at curtailing the number of deaths caused by the misuse of these powerful narcotics.
AMERICA’S OPIOID CRISIS BY THE NUMBERS
According to the CDC, the misuse of narcotic pain medications has resulted in over 600,000 deaths in the U.S. In fact, deaths resulting from the misuse of these medications are disproportionately greater than that of illegal drugs. Studies have shown that an alarming 66 percent of drug overdoses, which have resulted in death, can be attributed to the misuse of opioids.
In 1999, for example, methadone caused the biggest spikes in overdose deaths in America, before being outranked by heroin in 2010. It is presumed that the heroin’s popularity is one that stems from the drug’s ability to induce euphoria while also serving as a pain reliever. And in 2013, the U.S bore witness to a new type of opioid misuse, fentanyl. This medication, classified as a synthetic opioid, has claimed the lives of thousands of individuals, especially the illicitly manufactured variant of the powerful drug.
WHY ARE OPIOIDS BEING MISUSED?
It’s important to note that there is a subset of individuals whose misuse opioids began innocuously. For many people, their addiction to opioids stems from a pharmacotherapy that was intended to alleviate pain caused by an injury or illness. Unfortunately, what was once intended to be a coping mechanism morphed into an addiction for many people.
Thankfully, those who are ready to seek treatment have a variety of options at their disposal, ranging from medications that lessen the feelings of withdrawal to addiction treatment centers. That said, long-term opioid users have found medication, combined with therapy, to be the most beneficial.
MEDICATIONS THAT CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME ADDICTION
Although it may sound counterproductive to replace one medication with another, this is precisely what is needed for some individuals to be free of their addiction. So what kind of medications can help with opioid addiction? Well, there are quite a few; however, suboxone and naltrexone are two of the most commonly prescribed. These prescription medications have shown to be highly effective and have helped countless long-term opioid users.
In summation, if you or someone you know has a problem with opioid addiction, you’re encouraged to seek help as soon as possible, especially in light of the death rate associated with these medications. Consider contacting Carla Vista Sober Living Homes for more information on addiction recovery services; you can visit them online at carlavista.com.